It’s a small group that heads to the hills just north of the city’s core. Just me and two coaches. Just me and two Boston Marathoners. Boston Marathoners many many times over.
We run out to where the downtown traffic yields to treelines decked out in autumn hues. Where the streets wind in curves that hide just how steep and how long the inclines in this area really are.
I am 2 weeks post-marathon. My mind and body have healed. And I am ready to resume speed training. Moreso I am anxious to stem any loss of speed the last two weeks have cost me and to gain any spare seconds of advantage that today’s session may proffer.
This morning’s training isn’t so much about today as it is about tomorrow. Or more accurately 2016.
I will soon turn 44. An age when most runners slow down. An age when most people become comfortable in dormancy.
I am here on these hills to refuse both of these so-called eventualities.
After more than 3 years of my own dormancy, at least as far as speed improvements, I am now faster than I have been.
I am here on these hills to further this momentum.
For there will be a moment next year when the effort I put in today pays off. A split second as I cross the finish line, as my eyes bug out at the time clock and my lips break into a wide grin.
And in that moment I will remember this day of hard work — the heaving lungs, the driving arms, and the staccato footsteps up yet another long and winding hill.
And it will all be worth it.